Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson has started the 2023 season strong, but his head coach, Sean Payton, remains unhappy. In their latest game against Washington, the Broncos squandered a 21-3 lead and lost. Payton was quick to place blame on Wilson, stating that his slow communication was a factor in the team’s collapse. He even suggested that Wilson may soon be required to wear a wristband for play calls.
“Gosh,” Payton said. “It was more than just one drive. There (were) a number of drives where we’re late with personnel, getting out of the huddle we took a while. I mean, that’s gotta change. We had to burn timeouts in the first half (and) I’m not used to doing (that). We’ve gotta be better. I’ve gotta be better. Russ has gotta be sharper with getting the play out, and then we’ve gotta look at how much we have in. But, you know, if we need to wristband it, we will.”
Despite Wilson’s impressive performance of three touchdowns in their latest game, the Broncos have yet to string together a win since his arrival. Payton‘s patience with Wilson may soon become an open question in Denver if their 0-2 start snowballs. The team signed Jarrett Stidham to a two-year, $10 million contract this offseason as a backup, and Payton has sounded like a man who wouldn’t hesitate to bench Wilson if necessary.
It remains to be seen whether Payton will follow through with implementing a change in offensive communication. The Broncos’ next matchup is against the 2-0 Miami Dolphins, who are coming off a prime-time win against the Patriots.
Broncos need to turn their season around
Payton’s start with the Broncos has been worse than his predecessor Hackett, who began 2-1 before losing 10 of his last 12 games. The pressure is on for Wilson and the Broncos to turn their season around. As Payton stated, “We’ve gotta be better.” It’s clear that he expects more from his quarterback and team as a whole. However, it’s important to note that Wilson is still new to the team and may need time to adjust fully.
In the words of former NFL coach Tony Dungy, “Patience is not simply the ability to wait – it’s how we behave while we’re waiting.” It remains to be seen how patient Payton will be with Wilson and how he will handle any potential changes in offensive communication. Only time will tell if the Broncos can turn their season around and live up to expectations.